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‘Cowboy’ Cerrone doesn’t pay attention to what Stephen A. Smith or anybody else says about him

Donald Cerrone
Donald Cerrone
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone knows he had a really bad night in his last fight against Conor McGregor in January.

The highly-anticipated showdown lasted just 40 seconds with McGregor blitzing Cerrone right out of the gate before finishing with a head kick and a barrage of punches on the ground. It was arguably the worst possible outcome for Cerrone.

Afterward, the 18-time post-fight bonus winner faced immense criticism for his performance but none louder than ESPN’s human megaphone, Stephen A. Smith. The First Take co-host said he was “disgusted” by Cerrone’s performance while adding that he felt like the former UFC title contender “gave up” in the opening seconds of the fight.

Since then, Smith has defended his comments and more recently he took another victory lap after Cerrone admitted that he wasn’t himself in the fight against McGregor.

Regardless of what was said by Smith or other critics, Cerrone didn’t pay attention to any of it.

“It doesn’t define me.” Cerrone told MMA Fighting when asked about the criticism he faced after the McGregor fight. “I look myself in the mirror, I don’t give a sh*t what the people at home say. I don’t pay attention. I don’t read nothing, I don’t watch nothing. I don’t get on social media and see what people have to say.

“I think I’m really good at staying the hell away from that. I got my ranch that I live. I’ve got so much life going on that I don’t any idea what the people that don’t have life going on have to say.”

Just because he isn’t listening or reading to what people say about him, Cerrone understands how he’s being perceived following the fight with McGregor, which was his third loss in a row overall.

“It f*cking sucks, because you’re only as good as your last fight,” Cerrone said. “Now I’m only as good as my last three and godd*amn. A win is something that I’m motivated, excited for.”

“What’s really cool I’m here for all three fights. Think what they’re going to say when “Cowboy” goes 3-0 in f*cking one week. Then I’m going to be back on the greatest again. So it’s going to be all right. I’m going from a bum to a superstar.”

On Saturday, Cerrone will be facing an old foe in Anthony Pettis but the circumstances surrounding this fight are far different from the circus like sideshow that surrounds every appearance by McGregor.

While he still can’t explain why he felt so off for the McGregor fight, Cerrone is more than ready to shine after receiving this opportunity to compete on three weeks’ notice.

“It’s kind of right up my alley,” Cerrone said. “I won’t have any time to get scared or get in my own head. Just go out there and hopefully have some fun. I don’t have the answer for you. If I had the answer, I’d have cured it the last fight. Today, I feel great. Tomorrow, how do I feel? I don’t know. Who’s going to show up? F*cking no idea, but I feel good. Training went well. They talk about people’s fires coming and going, you’ve got to rekindle it, re-fire it up, re-get pumped. I don’t know why I didn’t have it last time on the biggest card, biggest everything. It sucked. A real kick in the d*ck.

“It feels a lot smoother to me. Sometimes those long camps are just [grueling], all the media obligations, all the 12 weeks to get ready. You don’t have time to think about it. You just get in and go. I enjoy ‘em. I love it. That’s why I’m the short notice guy.”

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